The art of Joe Buissink

Joe Buissink, the wedding photographer to the stars was in Toronto yesterday (June 5) to give a workshop to about 30 wedding and portrait photographers. People came from as far away as Montreal and Windsor and Joe didn’t disappoint. Joe and Me

Joe shoots mainly available light. He also shoots mainly in program mode. And he shoots to capture “the moment”.

Joe hires other photographers to shoot the regular setup stuff and he does the photo-journalism style.

I had no idea what to expect when I signed up ($150) to attend but the topic of the day wasn’t about photography. Of course it was photography that we talked about but it wasn’t the subject. We talked about how much Joe charges. One young woman had to know what camera he was using. I almost shouted out “who gives a fig?” but I held back. Then she wanted to know what lens.

I think this young woman completely missed the point. The subject being discussed was discovering who we are as individuals. Photography is only the medium of our artistic vision. The images are but reflections.

Somewhere in the first hour I wrote in my journal “I was meant to be here.”

I wrote that line as tears streamed down my face as Joe’s images of autistic children (he has two) passed one by one on the screen. As a long-time former journalist who shot damn near everything on film in black and white I could see myself in Joe’s images. He was seeing what I used to see. And, he was seeing much more than I ever saw.

So when I got home I went through my library of my most recent images. I looked closely to see what was it I was trying to say in these images. What, of myself, was I bringing to the photo shoot?

It’s been a long time since I felt so blessed to be a shooter. I don’t shoot for anyone’s pleasure but my own. I don’t shoot for my subjects to see themselves in my images. i don’t shoot for their money or their appreciation.  I shoot to see my own image reflected back into my own eyes. There are days I love what I see.


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